Marc-Andre Bougie lives for his music. Recently named Honorary Conductor for MidAmerica Productions, the native Canadian is busy preparing another musical piece for its debut at Carnegie Hall in 2024. He conducted his original piece Requiem with collaborative choirs at Carnegie Hall in January. The piece was originally performed last November at Sacred Heart Church where Marc-Andre is the musical director and organist. He, wife Candace Taylor, and daughter Miriam have made Texarkana their home for sixteen years. Marc-Andre is also an Associate Professor of Music at Texarkana College and in addition to leading the Texarkana Regional Chorale, he was the inaugural Music Director and Conductor for the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra.
His musical roots run deep, at an early age first learning to play the piano, then adding the violin and viola. He earned his undergraduate degree in music with an emphasis on music composition skills. He moved to the United States to attend graduate school at the University of Missouri-Columbia. There he had further study in composition which led him into his focus of orchestral conducting. Winner of the 2000 MTNA National Composition Award, Marc-Andre has also been awarded the 2016 Endowed Chair of Teaching at Texarkana College. He teaches a variety of music courses as well as directing the Texarkana College Choir who performs regularly with Texarkana Regional Chorale.
The recent Carnegie Hall performance was Marc-Andre’s fourth appearance with MidAmerica Productions. Music Director Peter Tiboris raves about working with Marc-Andre, particularly on this recent piece: “The Requiem was unique and special, unlike any other composition. It was Mr. Bougie’s own ‘voice’ and therefore it needs to be performed and heard often in important places.”
Bougie’s new piece Magnificat will be premiering yet again at Carnegie Hall in 2024. While writing Requiem during the pandemic in 2020, Marc-Andre felt called during that time to write a piece which was meaningful to him. It beautifully follows the Latin liturgical text and expresses emotion and meaning. For Marc-Andre, this was something he was called to write. “I believe that words in themselves contain music, and that composing music on ancient texts brings together these centuries of musical expression through words. To me, there is a place within eternity where those prayers rest, and I wanted to approach that source and see if I could connect to it. More than anything else, that inspired me,” Marc-Andre said. His hard work with Requiem was rewarded when he was named a National Finalist for the 2021 American Prize in Choral Composition.
Music in many forms is present in Marc-Andre’s life and he shares this with his wife and daughter. Candace is a very accomplished soprano who has performed in many venues and collaborates with Marc-Andre in composing and performing. Their daughter Miriam Taylor Bougie who is fourteen has also been studying music and witnesses the talent and dedication her parents have to the craft. When not busy with his many musical roles, Marc-Andre enjoys cooking and traveling with his family. Already an accomplished musician, he looks forward to more opportunities to showcase his exceptional choirs in the future. “It has become clear to me that the next phase of my career will involve both aspects of my conducting and composition training, and I could not be more excited about what is yet to come,” he said.
Photos by Stan Shavers with Starlight Photography.